(1) A term used in phonetics and psycholinguistics to refer to a hypothetical articulatory state used as a reference point when describing speech production in dynamic terms. In connected speech, the target articulatory features for a sound (e.g. alveolar, voicing) may not be fully attained, because of the anticipatory influence of successive target articulations. The target model postulates an idealized set of articulatory positions and a set of rules which attempt to predict actual patterns of articulatory movement, taking into account such factors as speed of articulation, and the direction and distance between articulators. Similarly, models of speech perception have been proposed which use the construct of an auditory target, which enables the listener to identify the common factors in different accents, voice qualities, etc.
(2) The language (or variety, etc.) which is the focus of a linguistic process of change is known as the target language, e.g. the language into which one is translating or interpreting, the language (or variety, etc.) being taught to foreign learners, and so on.
(3) In transformational grammar, the constituent affected by a transformation is sometimes referred to as the target. For example, the target for WH-movement can be a noun phrase, as in How many parcels will be send to London?, a prepositional phrase, as in In which book did you read about it?, or certain other kind of phrase. A similar use is found in generative phonology, where a rule can be triggered by one segment (the ‘trigger segment’) so as to apply to another ( the ‘target segment’).
（3）轉換語法中受一種轉換影響的組構成分有時稱作目標項。例如WH-移位的目標項可以是一個名詞短語（如How many parcels will he send to London? “他將往倫敦寄多少個包裹？”），一個介詞短語（如In which book did you read about it? “你在哪本書中讀到的？”），或某些其他短語。類似的用法見于生成音系學，一條規則可由一個音段（“觸發音段”）引發而應用于另一個音段（“目標音段”）。